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2003 Discovery 2 SE7
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797 Posts
I have an LR3 that's been modified for moderate wheeling and I have the potential to pick up a D2 locally. As I know next nothing about the D2, looking for some advice on this one: Log into Facebook
Looks decent - love the color, seems to be well-modified. It is a problem prone 03, so make of that what you will. Mine has been a disaster. Misfire could be something as simple as plugs and wires, but that procedure isn't simple, being an SAI truck, the likelyhood of destroying the expensive SAI manifolds while replacing them is high. There's a high possibility that it turns into a $1k+ plug and wire replacement. Mine was like that, so I deleted the SAI, but that will give you a CEL so if your state requires emissions testing, you're stuck replacing it.

You're also going to want to set aside money to go through the cooling system, and make sure to keep an eye on the front driveshaft, which are known for letting go and destroying the transmission (ask me how I know). Other than those things and a few other issues such as head gasket failure being very common, they're ok if well taken care of. I don't know you level of wrenching skills, but you're gonna want to do everything yourself - taking these to a shop for repairs gets super expensive.

For a little comparison (although this truck is in better shape than mine was), in the last 2 years and 10k miles, my D2 has needed:
  • Plugs
  • Wires
  • Every coolant hose
  • Thermostat (180)
  • Radiator
  • Water pump
  • Serpentine Belt
    • Idlers
    • Tensioner
  • Mechanical fan
  • Valve cover gaskets (both sides, twice)
  • Intake manifold gasket (twice)
  • Oil pump (three times, two of which stranded me with no oil pressure)
  • Head gaskets (and all other gaskets/bolts required for that job)
  • Lifters
  • Sump gasket
  • Front cover gasket
  • Front main seal
  • Springs and shocks all around
  • Tires
  • Front and rear brake pads and rotors
  • Transmission fluid change, filter change
  • Battery
There's probably stuff I'm forgetting. It also still needs a rear main seal and a new transmission because the case is cracked from when the driveshaft let go under previous ownership.

Not trying to scare you away, as this truck looks pretty nice. But I do want you to be aware of the issues these can have, so you can act accordingly. At least from the listing, the truck you are looking at seems pretty decent, and I would probably take a look at the very least if I were in the market. Pricing seems fair considering the work that's been done to it, especially if you can negotiate a little. I'd take a look at it - for $4k this thing could be a great project truck.

Let us know how it goes! Good luck
 

· Bleeds Green
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203 Posts
I've had two Discoveries and my experience mirrors V50's. Both of mine slipped cylinder liners at about 160k without overheating events so this one could be close to that fate. I love my Disco so much that I decided to LS swap it to ditch the unreliable, expensive and comparatively underpowered Rover engine. After a long and expensive process, it fired up the other day and now I just have a few things to button up before I can hit the trails again!

Both my Discos had a sporadic misfires which was a failing coil. The coils are in a terrible location - right behind the intake manifold. You can remove and replace them without taking off the manifold, but it's a knuckle-busting frustration fest. I did that on my first Disco. I found though a Google search that there's a guy on another forum who said he's still got some coil relocation kits for sale. That was in 2021 though. Check if he's still got the kit available. You could just buy that and abandon the original coils. It'd be much easier. I had one of these kits before I did my LS swap but sold it to someone already.

That Disco for sale has the DII wiper arms. The rear one is plastic and sagging which has scuffed the rear window. If you buy it, consider swapping the wiper arms for DI wiper arms which fit just fine. The blades are readily available at parts stores and the arms are metal so they won't sag like the DII ones do. You'll have to rig the rear washer nozzle, but a zip tie does the job.

That's a pretty good deal on that Disco. It's got some good-looking parts on it. If you're a decent shadetree mechanic and aren't going to use it as a reliable daily driver, this would be a great rig!
 
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Currently ‘01 D2 212k & ‘07 LR3 63k
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4 Posts
If you have some mechanical skills and ability to distill the info from the forums and RAVE, I'd say go for it. A lot of expensive and time-intensive components have been added, and it looks to be in pretty good shape. As mentioned above, the misfire could be something simple or something extensive and expensive. For example, a new anti-knock sensor recently solved that issue on mine (also had intermittent long starter cranks with failure to fire/start as a symptom of that part needing replaced); very inexpensive DIY job - although somewhat tedious if you have big hands. But earlier in my D2's life, a misfire was caused by a blown headgasket allowing antifreeze to blow into two cylinders, and that definitely was a more expensive but workable problem (motor oil on dipstick may look "milky," and exhaust may smell like pancake syrup while engine is warming up; that smell can be misleading though; if it's localized to the engine bay, will likely be caused by a leaking throttle body heater).

If you could find out a little more about all that was done during the lift process, that might give you a better idea about time and money already spent on the underneath jobs D2's typically need. Without seeing underneath, cannot tell if front driveshaft has already been replaced (upgraded serviceable replacements will have visible grease zerks); if it's been replaced during the lift process and properly serviced since, that would be another plus. Same goes for brake hoses, springs and shocks (for springs and shocks, might also be some question about the quality of the components used, which greatly impact the truck's handling and whether need for replacement components may come sooner rather than later or not at all). A few underneath pics could tell you a lot.

My list of items has been very similar to things noted above (V50's list is excellent), with the addition of an alternator, 2 window lift motors/regulators, all 5 door actuators, throttle body heater, and a rubber rear driveshaft coupler.

All that said, with the components that have been added, relatively low mileage and the truck's appearance, I'd still say go for it if you're moderately DIY mechanically inclined.
 
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